“If a person isn’t going to put their heart and soul into it, there isn’t a queue of potential licencees waiting for your patent.” said Lucy. “I’ve seen really good ideas fall through the cracks because the person behind it didn’t put the work in.”
Rob Quigley of MotionFox is keen to avoid making that mistake. His eureka moment happened last year while he was cycling to University College Dublin. ”I had my high-visibility jacket on but I was also carrying a backpack, which obscured it, and so I may as well not have been wearing it,” he said. “I looked around and saw everybody else was doing the same.”
Quigley, who has a PhD in computer science, searched the web for an expandable high-visibility jacket that woudl cover a backpack, but could not find one. He ripped up his high-visibility jackets and used his girlfriend’s sewing machine to stitch them together, creating a prototype. From there he and Steven Benton, a friend, set up MotionFox. They found a tailor to create patterns, filed patents, and went online to find a manufacturer.
Quigley and Benton sell online and to bicycle shops around Ireland. Last week they intorduced a children’s range.
“I had wanted to run my own business for a while, and finally came up with a novel idea,” sadi Quigley. He plans to create a full range of patent protected activewear. “I knew if I didn’t patent the product it would lead to trouble down the road with investors,” he said.
Psychologically, the process of patenting the invention turned MotionFox into a proper company, said Quigley. “Up until that point, we were just two guys sitting at home making high-visibility jackets.”